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Shores board explores ways to strengthen mission: Voting underway for trustee seats, EIR input goes live

Although the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) bylaws are seemingly cut-and-dry, the board wants to do more to define its mission as a community asset. At the Feb. 28 meeting, members discussed ways to increase meeting attendance, improve community relevance and get more cooperation from the City to fulfill its role as a park and recreation board.

Its bylaws state: “The primary purpose of the Association shall be to provide a community forum for matters affecting the La Jolla Shores Planned District, and to advise the San Diego City Council, Park & Recreation Department, and other governmental agencies as may be appropriate. … The City has designated the Association as the sole recreation council for making these recommendations.”

Another LJSA task is protecting the interests of individual property owners and residents of La Jolla Shores.

LJSA trustee Dolores Donovan opined: “We have to establish ourselves as the place a La Jolla Shores resident goes if they have an issue. We have to establish a public presence to do that.” To that end, she suggested participating at local events, such as marching in the La Jolla Christmas Parade, and staffing booths at Shores’ functions.

Acting chair Janie Emerson added: “We have to do more outreach to get people involved,” and she suggested a summer open house with wine and cheese to present their role to guests, a “Taste of La Jolla Shores” event, posting announcements and agendas on nextdoor.com and the group’s Facebook page, and having a liaison at other community meetings.

In addition to publicity, other concerns had to do with LJSA’s role as a Park & Recreation advisory group, and how the City works with the board in that capacity.

Trustee John Sheridan said: “I have a hard time understanding why representatives from the Park & Rec Department or the park rangers don’t present here on a regular basis. We had a ranger speak to us once and never come back. If being a Park & Rec board is part of the core of our mission, we should have some officials here.”

Emerson added: “Another concern to me is that when we became a Park & Rec board (about five years ago), City projects and everything that was going to happen in the parks came through here for approval, just like they do at the La Jolla Community Planning Association. I don’t understand why they don’t anymore.” For example, the Planning Association heard a presentation about a sidewalk in La Jolla Shores, but the same City representatives did not present at LJSA.

Agreeing to continue to brainstorm and collect more information, the discussion will continue at a future meeting. Those with suggestions may also reach the board through lajollashoresassociation.org

In other LJSA news:

Election ballot: Ballots will go out this week to eligible voters for the LJSA annual election. Final tallying will take place at the March 28 meeting. As of Feb. 28, there are four candidates for eight seats.

Those eligible to re-run include current trustees Donovan and Mary Coakley Munk. Former board member Steve Chapple ran last year, but was filling the remaining year on a term that was vacated, and will be on the ballot for a full two-year term. Former LJSA chair Joe Dicks also expressed interest in running for a seat, but was not at the meeting to give a statement.

North Pacific Beach resident John Shannon sought a seat, but was deemed ineligible because he did not live nor work in The Shores. He joked: “But I spend more time in La Jolla than I do at my home.”

After the meeting, he opened a satellite office in The Shores so he could run as a write-in candidate.

EIR comments go live: Following a controversial public comment period that many claimed was too close to the 2017 holidays, responses to the UC San Diego Living Learning Neighborhood Environmental Impact Report (EIR) have gone live here and clicking “Projects Pending Environmental Approval.”

When issuing an EIR, public comments with concerns that merit further explanation are collected and UC San Diego must respond to them. The UCSD project calls for an 11-acre mixed-use complex on the west campus between Muir College and Marshall College to house academic buildings for Social Sciences and the Arts & Humanities departments; 2,000 undergraduate beds divided between four residential buildings; 1,200 underground parking spaces; and a market, dining hall and craft center. Construction is expected to begin in June 2018 and be completed in fall 2020.

— LJSA next meets 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29 at Scripps Instituition of Oceanography, Martin-Johnson House, 8840 Biological Grade. lajollashoresassociation.org

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